In the United States, a court hearing will soon start, which can have a huge impact on the mobile applications market. Apple has been accused of violating antitrust law. The giant does not allow the installation of applications from outside the App Store. All arguments concern a 30% margin, which is charged for each purchase. iPhone users have no choice but to pay “apple tribute”. Currently, the US Supreme Court is hearing representatives of Apple, government employees and prosecutors.
Nine judges listened to an hour-long speech in a case against Apple. The accusation was filed in 2011 by iPhone users who feel injured by a 30% margin charged on every purchase made through the App Store. The matter is not straightforward because we are dealing here with a precedent that may be the basis for further lawsuits. Apple’s monopoly is that iOS users can install applications only through the Apple store. The giant has argued for such a decision for security reasons for years. Thanks to this, iPhone users should be less exposed to malicious applications than owners of Android smartphones. Of course sometimes some malicious application will slip through the Apple’s mechanisms, but these are sporadic cases. On the other hand, this means that the giant takes a 30% margin on every mobile purchase without any problem. This applies to payments for a single purchase of applications, as well as subscription and micropayments. In addition, the store regulations prohibit the use of payment methods that bypass the App Store mechanisms. Therefore, according to the prosecutor, we are dealing here with a monopoly.
Apple customers spent $26.8 billion in the App Store during the first half of 2018
We all know that Apple earns a lot of money on its services, including the App Store margin. iPhone owners spend tens of billions of dollars each year using the App Store. In the first half of this year, it was 26.8 billion dollars. However, this amount also includes services developed by Apple. That’s why the giant said before the court that in 2017 it paid $26 billion to developers. Simple mathematics shows that thanks to their work Apple earned 11 billion dollars last year. At the same time, revenues from the App Store are getting bigger every year. That is why Apple’s lawyers want the US Supreme Court to discontinue the proceedings.
The judges are not unanimous. Some share the defence of the giant. Apple assumes that a margin of 30% does not burden consumers, but developers. In addition, these revenues stem from Apple’s successful policy, which relies on continuous investments in the development of a coherent ecosystem. However, there are also judges who do not like the fact that Apple uses an easy payment authorization system that encourages frequent small payments.